September Dinner – Fresh bagels and blackberries

The Ernest Bagel - with cold cuts and cheeseJonathan and I were looking for a simple dinner so we headed to the Earnest Bagel in Windsor for some fresh bagels.  The Earnest Bagel bakes fresh Montreal style bagels and they are an absolute delight.  They are great for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We already had some cheeses and cold cuts at home.  I decided to do salami and cheddar, instead of the usual cream cheese – although that is one of my favourites too.The Ernest Bagel

Fresh blackberries from Blenheim were available at Remark grocery store.  Remark is a great grocery store in Windsor that we love to go to for a treat.  Their produce is amazing and the shopping experience is more personal since the store is smaller than the big box grocery stores.  In addition to the blackberries – I couldn’t resist making it a berry trio with blackberries, strawberries and raspberries.Ontario BlackberriesBlackberries and RaspberriesBlackberries, Raspberries, and Strawberries

For a real treat we found Coffee and Bailey’s gelatto.  It all made for a delightful dinner and a fun trip to the grocery store.  Yes, I enjoy going to the grocery store tremendously to find the freshest and best ingredients!Coffee and Bailey's Gelatto

Portland and Seattle Honeymoon

IMG_5632Jonathan and I have settled back into married life – after an absolutely wonderful honeymoon.  Portland and Seattle were fun cities to visit and tour around.  Jonathan and I are both foodies so – some of our tourism was food tourism.  We stayed in amazing hotels with allergy friendly floors, which helped me sleep well.  With many farmers markets, art galleries, coffee shops, fine dining and beautiful weather – there was so much to explore.

One of our first dinners out was Grüner – Alpine inspired – and delicious.  I ordered duck schnitzel and it came with a delicious sauce.IMG_5608IMG_5595IMG_5604

Next, on our food adventure was donuts!  The donuts were the most delicious and creative flavours I have ever tasted.  At Blue Star Donuts we tried a rhubarb and berry glazed donut, sour cream glazed, and blueberry bourbon basil.  These donuts were top notch, way better than Tim Hortons – with a light flakey brioche donut and freshly made icings!

IMG_5577IMG_5659For the book lover in us both was Powell’s Books in Portland.  It is one of the largest book stores I have seen in a long time.  There was even a map to help you navigate the sections.  I bought the new Barbara Kingsolver novel “Flight Behavior” which I am enjoying tremendously so far.IMG_5586

Next Seattle!  An amazing city that felt a great deal like Toronto, but with amazing salmon.  I adored the Pike Place Market.  The market is lined with fresh bouquets of flowers, organic wine booths, fresh veggies, fresh fish, small restaurants, and tons of tourists.  We enjoyed walking around and absorbing the atmosphere.  Pike Place Market also happens to be the place where Starbucks opened its original location!  I love fair trade organic coffee, but every once in a while I have a craving for a Starbucks vanilla latte.IMG_5727IMG_5738IMG_5734IMG_5746IMG_5736IMG_5741

Poppy had a unique menu that is inspired by Indian ‘thali’.  Thali provides a small taste of many small dishes.  We both ordered the salmon, which came with sugar snap peas, naan, black eyed peas and carrot and ginger soup.  This restaurant was definitely a highlight, the salmon was fresh, the lemon drop martini was delicious and it set a great tone for our exploration of Seattle.  I definitely think this concept needs to be done in Ontario!IMG_5704IMG_5709IMG_5705

At Victorola Cafe we did a coffee tour.  We smelled a variety of coffee grounds, felt the beans, observed and smelled as hot water was added, then finally tasted the intricate tastes of the coffee.IMG_5715IMG_5716IMG_5719

Sushi – yum!  I think dinner at Shiro’s Sushi was Jonathan’s favourite restaurant in Seattle.  He had heard about Shiro’s because Shiro trained with a famous sushi master in Japan.  In fact there is a documentary about the sushi master he trained with: Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  The sushi was artfully made and presented beautifully.  The fish was so fresh and was a sushi lover’s dream come true.


Space NeedleIMG_5762IMG_5814

Seattle Public Library

The Seattle Public Library is an amazingly beautiful modernist building.  Jonathan worked at the Peterborough Public library for many years, so he loves visiting libraries in other cities.  Being a bookworm myself – I was delighted to see such a gorgeous home for so many books.  IMG_5944IMG_5946

Dinner at Spinasse

This meal was my absolute favourite.  It is not a secret that I love pasta – and this place was amazing.  So much care was taken with the pasta and it was beautifully presented.  I had a perfectly paired glass of red wine and the atmosphere was perfect.  Jonathan loves me so much that he eats a great deal of pasta.  Jonathan found some amazing restaurants, we explored great cuisine, and had some very romantic meals.IMG_5942IMG_5940

Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

A wonderful art experience.  I can’t imagine the patience, genuine creativity and time it would take to create these pieces of art.  I loved the mixture of fine glass and the well manicured gardens.

Red Lentil Dahl

Red Lentil Dahl and IdlisMeandering down the aisle at Trader Joe’s I found red lentils and absolutely had to make dahl.  My mother-in-law makes wonderful dahl, so I decided to make it on my own.  I found a recipe here and decided to try it out.  The result was an aromatic, slightly spicy, and nourishing meal.  Since I have been exploring Indian cooking I had all the ingredients in my cupboard, but you should be able to find these ingredients at a bulk food store or Indian grocery store.  The asafoetida will be found at an Indian grocery store – I have never seen it in the spice aisle of larger grocery stores.  Along with the ginger, asafoetida helps with healthy digestion.

To go with the red lentil dahl are idlis, which are a steamed moist rice cake.  They can be dipped in the dahl and are very tasty.  We had red lentil dahl as a meal, but it could be accompanied by other curries.  I didn’t make the idlis myself – we had some in the freezer that Jonathan’s mom brought to Windsor for us.  In some stores I’ve seen idlis sold frozen.

I enjoy the challenge of having at least one vegetarian meal per week, so this fit in perfectly with our weekly meal planning.  Lentils are a great source of protein and the dahl was very filling.  Jonathan said that it tasted very similar to his mother’s dahl, which is a huge compliment!


  • 1½ cups red lentils, thoroughly rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock ( I used chicken stock because we didn’t have vegetable stock)
  • 2 tomatoes, diced (I used canned diced tomatoes, about half of a can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (if desired, I forgot to add it in and was still happy with the flavour)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped (more or less depending on how spicy you want the dahl to be)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped ( I forgot to add this and it still turned out well)
  • ¼ teaspoon asaefoetida (it is very strong so make sure to measure it)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Small pinch of cinnamon
  • Small pinch of ground cloves
  • Small pinch of paprika
  • Fresh chopped cilantro for serving (I don’t enjoy cilantro, but if you do, feel free to add)


1. In large stock pot add in olive oil, spices, garlic, ginger and chopped green chilies.  Turn element on to medium heat and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.  If you have an onion, cook it now with the spices.

2.  Add vegetable or chicken stock and stir well.

3.  Rinse lentils, then add to stock pot.  Add tomatoes at this time.

4.  Bring to light boil.  Then turn down the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  The lentils will be puffed and the dahl will be thick.

5.  Serve with idlis and fresh cilantro if you choose.

6.  Enjoy.

IdlisRed Lentil Dahl

Chicken Parmesan for two! Saturday brunch and early bird sushi at Noble Fish

Chicken ParmesanChicken Parmesan is one of my many favourite dinners.  It is filling and oh so satisfying.  You can make your own favourite tomato sauce or use my recipe.  However, a good quality Parmesan and mozzarella cheese is a must!  It gives this meal an over the top flavour and the cheeses give a melted deliciousness that is beyond compare.

I have wanted to use our fine china that we received as a wedding gift for a while now.  Chicken Parmesan seemed like the ideal gourmet dish to serve.  With a side of green peas and some sparkling apple juice in our wine glasses it was the perfect fancy Friday meal.  When we have our parents over for a dinner next I would definitely make this meal.Chicken Parmesan

Brooklyn Street Local -DetroitBrunch is a delightful way to spend a Saturday meal and so Jonathan, his co-worker Meg and I headed to Brooklyn Street Local in Detroit.  I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich with a garden salad and Jonathan ordered the eggs Benedict.  Everything was scrumptious and the latte I ordered was tasty.  Next we headed to the Somerset Collection for some shopping.

For an early bird dinner we went to Noble Fish for sushi.  This sushi is the best I have ever had!  The fish is super fresh tasting and there isn’t any mayonnaise filler that sometimes comes in sushi.  My favourite are the salmon rolls and the spicy tuna rolls.  I could eat salmon everyday of the week and not get tired of it, so we also ordered salmon sashimi.  The restaurant is in the back of a grocery store with very few tables, but the atmosphere is fun and very serious about their sushi.Grilled Cheese at Brooklyn Street Local -DetroitEggs Benedict at Brooklyn Street Local -DetroitBrooklyn Street Local -DetroitSushi at Noble Fish - DetroitSushi at Noble Fish - DetroitSushi at Noble Fish - Detroit


Tomato Sauce

1 L tomato puree

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp basil

2 tsp red wine vinegar

½ tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

2 chicken breasts, flattened

½ cup bread crumbs

½ tsp pepper

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ cup melted butter

1 cup Galati cheese shredded (mozzarella)

¼ Parmesan cheese shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Begin by making the sauce.  In a medium pan add olive oil, onions and garlic and sauté until onions are cooked.
  3. Add in oregano, basil, salt and pepper and stir for 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Stir in tomato puree and red wine vinegar.
  5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Next combine the breadcrumbs, pepper and Parmesan cheese in a bowl.
  7. Melt butter and then dip chicken into butter then breadcrumb minute.
  8. Add a small amount of canola oil to coat the fry pan.  Pan fry chicken at medium high temperature for 3 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy looking.
  9. In your baking dish add a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom.  Next place chicken in baking dish and sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan on top.  Add a layer of tomato sauce and then another layer of mozzarella and Parmesan.
  10. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  11. Serve on top of spaghetti with green peas on the side.
  12. Enjoy.

Panna Cotta

Panna CottaJonathan planned a dinner to celebrate our engagement two years ago.  One of my favourite parts was the dessert – a delicious panna cotta, which I have been meaning to make in my own kitchen for a long time!  Panna Cotta is a tasty dessert that is silky and creamy with a hint of vanilla.  Panna cotta in Italian translates to ‘cooked cream’ and that’s enough to make me fall in love with the dessert.  Jonathan chose it as a dessert for our engagement dinner because of its flavour, silky texture and the added bonus that it’s nut free.

I decided to make this dessert yesterday and it turned out wonderfully.  The little blue bowls I used were a bridal shower gift from my friends Emily and Allee and they were perfect for this scrumptious little dessert.  The recipe I used was from the Joy of Baking website.  I used the recipe because I wanted a video to show me how to make one of my favourite desserts.  I also didn’t want to waste whipping cream!  The recipe turned out perfectly and I will make this recipe again soon I am sure.  The panna cotta is garnished with homemade blueberry jam, but you can use fresh fruit.

Now that I have had success with this recipe I have many other ideas for little desserts.  A particular family favourite are parfaits!  My Dad used to make them for us when we were little and we loved them.  My Dad has a copy of the Jell-o cookbook, but I will make my own jelly using plain gelatin and fresh juice from the juicer.  I saw a recipe for half apple and half pomegranate layered jelly desserts and it looks irresistible!Panna Cotta

Makes 6 individual servings.


1 package (1/4 ounce) (7 grams) unflavored powdered gelatin

1/4 cup (60 ml) cold milk

2 1/4 cups (540 ml) heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Blueberry jam or fruit for garnish


For this recipe you will need 6 half-cup dessert cups (little bowls or wine glasses are my favourite).

  1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold milk in a small bowl.  Let the mixture sit for about 5 – 10 minutes. The idea is that the gelatin needs time to soften, swell, and become spongy.
  2. In a medium saucepan mix the cream and sugar.  Bring it just to a boil (or very hot with lots of steam coming off the top).  Stir well to dissolve the icing sugar.
  3. When the cream and sugar is very hot or just at boiling remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the gelatin mixture.
  4. Stir well until the gelatin is dissolved. If necessary, return the saucepan to the stove and stir over low heat (make sure you no longer see gelatin crystals). Stir in the vanilla extract at this point.
  5. Pour the cream into the dessert little bowls or wine glasses and place in the refrigerator. The panna cotta must chill for two to four hours, or until set.  Panna cotta can be made one to two days before serving.

Indian-Chinese Chili Chicken

Indian-Chinese Chili Chicken RecipeOne of Jonathan’s favourite foods is chili chicken, which is a mix of Indian styled Chinese food.  He had a craving for it and so we attempted to create the dish he loves from Frederick Restaurant in Toronto.  We also went to a restaurant in Detroit that claimed to have Indian-Chinese food, however it was not the same as the Toronto favourite.  This recipe turned out really well!  Jonathan said it is probably 98% similar to Frederick’s.  Over rice with some vegetables this is a very satisfying meal!  If you are just a beginner with spicy food like I used to be add fewer chopped green chillies to the recipe.  You could also make some samosas as an appetizer to really complete the meal.  However, we didn’t have time to make samosas this time.

In other exciting news, Jonathan and I have booked a honeymoon for August to Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon.  We are excited for the trip and to try some fun restaurants.  I am excited to see the Pike Place Market and the city where Starbucks originated.


2 large onions, chopped

½ cup canola oil

2 tsp finely chopped ginger

4-5 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp black pepper

4-6 small green chillies, chopped finely

3-4 pieces chicken breast chopped into bite sized pieces

½ cup water

1 tsp sugar

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tsp cornstarch


  1. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl.  Then coat with cornstarch.
  2. In your fry pan add canola oil and onions and cook until golden brown and caramelized.  Then add in ginger and garlic sauté for 1 minute.  Next add in cumin, coriander and pepper.
  3. Add chicken to the pan and cook.  Mix in green chili at this time.
  4. In a separate bowl prepare the sauce.  Whisk together water, sugar, 2 tsp cornstarch and soy sauce.
  5. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the pan and cook until the sauce is thickened and lightly bubbling.
  6. Serve over rice with vegetables on the side.
  7. Enjoy!

Cheddar and Green Chili Scones

Brunch - Cheddar Chili SconesI am behind on my posting – however, this recipe is too good not to share.  I made cheddar and green chili scones last weekend for brunch with Jonathan.  Oatmeal, scones, fried eggs, and hot tea all combined for a perfect brunch.  We had lovely conversation and enjoyed a perfect morning waking up slowly.  There is nothing better than waking up to the smell of freshly baked scones.  The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen but I substituted green chillies for the jalapeno peppers.

Brunch - Cheddar Chili SconesIngredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) cold butter, cut
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 eggs
3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons green chili (mine were from a can)


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Then mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

2.  Cut cold butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small peas.

3.  In a small separate bowl lightly beat eggs.

4.  Mix in heavy cream and eggs with a wooden spoon until dough forms.

5.  Add in 1/2 cup shredded cheddar and green chili to the dough.  Then knead in the cheese and green chilis.

6.  Cut dough into the desired shapes and place onto baking pan.  Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese.

7.  Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden on top and cooked in the centre.

Note: Scones are always best enjoyed the first day.

Feta, chickpea and zucchini salad, salmon with balsamic maple glaze and a coffee shop adventure

Feta, zucchini, bean saladJonathan and I have been married almost three weeks now – and have been loving every moment of married life!  I have made many tasty dinners and we have gone on a few foodie adventures in Detroit.  It has been very humid in Windsor and so a fresh summer salad recipe was in order.  We had purchased a Costco sized container of feta cheese, so I have been very creative lately with feta.  Summer salads with beans, zucchini and a light olive oil and balsamic dressing are refreshing and delicious.  This salad is also very versatile you could also add in cherry tomatoes, red peppers, cucumber or other favourite veggies.  The salmon I made had a balsamic and maple glaze, which was the perfect week night meal.  The glaze thickened perfectly and was very balanced in its light sweetness and balsamic flavour.

From our adventures in the USA, Jonathan discovered a unique coffee shop that we just had to try.  The Roasting Plant is a coffee shop in Detroit that features a system of tubes that roast, grind and store your coffee until it is ready to be Roasting Plantbrewed fresh on site.  While you sit at your table you can see green coffee beans being roasted in the Javabot.  There is also a great deal of selection from region to roast for the coffee beans.  Jonathan tried three different small sized coffees (called a flight of coffee, so you can sample a few different roasts) and I had an iced coffee.  We also shared a small croissant – yum!  The coffee was delicious and we would both recommend a visit if you are a coffee snob/ coffee lover.  The concept of the tubes, roasting and fresh brewed coffee is great and the coffee is delicious.

Feta, chickpea and zucchini and salad


1 can chickpeas, rinsed

1 can kidney beans, rinsed

½ cup green olives, sliced

1 medium zucchini, chopped into small pieces

1 cup crumbled feta cheese


¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon oregano

1 teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Mix dressing in a measuring cup and stir well.  Then drizzle over top of salad and toss together.  Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Salmon with Balsamic Maple Glaze


2 salmon fillets

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ maple syrup

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon corn starch

1 tablespoon brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

Prepare baking sheet with lightly drizzled olive oil.  Place salmon fillets on the sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. (adjust bake time according to your oven, mine took 20 minutes.)

Meanwhile, whisk all other ingredients together in a saucepan.  Let simmer for 5 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened.

Pour glaze over salmon and cook in the oven for another 5 minutes.


Feta, zucchini, bean salad with balsamic maple glazeRoasting PlantIced coffee at Roasting PlantRoasting Plant

Pelee Island Winery and Birdie’s Perch

IMG_5325The long weekend gets even better – yesterday, Jonathan and I went for a tour of Pelee Island Winery.  We sampled a few new wines and learn a few things about how one of my favourite Ontario wines is made.  The tour started by tasting a few reds and whites of varying sweetness, flavours and age.  We even got to keep the wine glasses at the end as a fun keepsake.  Our favourite wine that we tasted was a new organic wine called Pelee Pure.  It was light, non acidic and perfect for a summer afternoon with some appetizers.

First in the tour they showed us the huge barrels that were used about forty years ago, imported from France made from French oak.  These barrels are fun to look at, but hard to keep clean.  Each time these wine barrels were emptied someone had to crawl into the barrel and scrape the insides clean so that the flavour would be perfect for the next batch of wine.  Currently, Pelee Island uses smaller oak barrels and giant stainless steel barrels to age, ferment and store its wine.  A fun fact that I learned about sparkling wine is the finer the bubbles the higher the quality of the sparkling wine.IMG_5306IMG_5307IMG_5313

IMG_5326At the side of the building there was a mini vineyard and pretty garden beds.  All of the grapes used in the wine are grown on the island.  Pelee Island was chosen to grow grapes primarily because it shares the same latitude as Northern California and Southern France.  Meaning a warm climate and longer growing season.  Pelee Island has 550 acres of vineyards and is Canada’s largest private estate.  You can also visit Pelee Island for wonderful bird watching, hiking and cycling.  There is a ferry that goes over to the island, but it only goes across twice per day.

IMG_5339After our wonderful tour Jonathan and I went for fish tacos at Birdie’s Perch.  Jonathan discovered this unique chip truck while writing for his weekly food column at CBC Radio Windsor.  He loved the food so much that he simply had to take me back to try the food.  The ingredients were fresh and delicious – the perch in the taco came from Lake Erie.  Jonathan also ordered a delicious Canadian treat – poutine!  Clearly because it’s delicious and to celebrate our Canada Day weekend.  On the top level of the bus there are tables, but since it was humid we opted for a shaded picnic table where there was a nice breeze.  It was a perfect ending for our day.  On the drive back we drove by many beautiful farms where farmers grow fresh produce.  Local produce always tastes better and can be a fun way to explore your surroundings.IMG_5340IMG_5337IMG_5346IMG_5344IMG_5342IMG_5323IMG_5303IMG_5300IMG_5297

Cinnamon Buns and Toledo Museum of Art

Cinnamon BunsJonathan and I have been married a week now.  So, for our first weekend breakfast in Windsor as a married couple I made cinnamon buns!  They came together well in my standard mixer and with a bit of hand kneading of the dough.  The cinnamon flavour was tasty and the cream cheese icing was glorious and not overly sweet.  I made the cinnamon buns the night before so there would be less cleanup in the morning and I could simply reheat them and add the icing.  I will definitely make these again for Christmas morning or just as a treat.  They were delicious and I was happy with the way they turned out.  Next time I will cut this recipe in half because it made three dishes full of cinnamon buns.  I have one dish in the freezer right now, so we will have a sweet treat for another day.

Cinnamon BunsCinnamon Bun

In the afternoon we went on an adventure to Ohio to the Toledo Museum of Art.  It is a spectacular museum featuring aMe infront of a Claud Monet Painting at Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa and the Center for the Visual Arts building designed by Frank Gehry.  The galleries featured a wide range of art from modern, classical, glass art, and impressionist.  We will have to come back soon to see even more wonderful art.  Claude Monet is one of my favourite painters and I was beyond thrilled to see one of the lily pond paintings.  In grade 1 my teacher read us the book Linnea In Monet’s Garden and from then on I was hooked on impressionism and those magical water lilies.  Some day I hope to teach a grade 1 class and read that book!Toledo Museum of ArtJonathan at the Toledo Museum of ArtChandelier at the Toledo Museum of ArtToledo Museum of ArtPunch Bowl at the Toledo Museum of ArtToledo Museum of ArtFrank Lloyd Wright art at Toledo Museum of Art

Ingredients:Cinnamon Buns

for the sweet dough: 
1 cup milk
¼ cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons quick rising yeast
4 eggs


For the sweet dough, gently warm the milk, butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small pot. Don’t bring to a simmer; warm just enough to melt the butter.

Meanwhile, measure one-half of the flour into the bowl of your stand mixer along with the yeast. Add the warm milk and melted butter mixture to the flour and beat with your paddle attachment until smooth. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating until smooth before proceeding. Switch to a dough hook and add the remaining flour.

Remove and knead until a soft dough forms that is no longer sticky to the touch, about 5 minutes.

In an oiled bowl let dough rise for 20 minutes.  Put plastic wrap over top of bowl and a clean towel and let sit until doubled in size.  Roll out dough after 20 minutes into a rectangle shape and add cinnamon filling.  Add water to the outside of the rectangle with a pastry brush to help seal in the filling.  Slowly roll the bread around the filling and seal sides.  With a sawing motion slice the cinnamon buns in 1 inch pieces and place into a greased pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 F and bake for 25 minutes.  Let cool before enjoying.  These can be saved for the morning or put in the freezer for another day.

Cinnamon Filling

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup unsalted butter cold (cut into pieces)

1/4 cup raisins

Mix together all ingredients.

Cream Cheese Icing

¼ cup butter, room temperature

½ cup cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Milk 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup

Cream together the butter and cream cheese in your standard mixer, slowly add icing sugar.  Then add vanilla extract and milk.  I like my cinnamon bun icing a little more watery than cupcake icing, but still stiff enough that it will sit on the cinnamon bun without being watery or too runny.  You can test this by putting some icing on a metal spoon and watching the consistency as it runs off the spoon.  Add milk slowly so that it doesn’t become too watery.  If the consistency is too watery slowly add a little more icing sugar.